Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

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Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:40 am

I don't think it matters what profession you are in. The job market throughout the entire economy doesn't look good. With that said, your career is what you make of it. The real unemployment rate is almost 20% (U6, counting part time employment, underemployed, and those who have given up looking or gone back to school). The latest employment report indicated that about 440k jobs were created the prior month. The government is responsible for hiring 411k part time Census workers (temp. jobs). The private sector only created 30k jobs or so. The point is, lawyers are not the only sector being affected by the downturn. If you were to do it all over again and pick a different field, the same result is likely anyway. I am sure most new college grads are in the same boat. There really is no safe profession to fall back on unless you want to get in healthcare (especially in 2014 when the healthcare bill takes effect).

It is hard to say how long this recession (or depression) will last. They said this recession was over last summer and we are in recovery. I am not sure who really believes that, but a "jobless recovery" sounds like BS to me. The Greece crisis could even hit home here if something is not done to stop the deficit spending. It is predicted that by 2015 (around that time) that our deficit will reach 90% of GDP. If that happens, then everyone (not just lawyers) will be in trouble. I think we are going through a process of natural selection in the job market. Not everyone will make it. Those that make it will do very well and those that don't will suffer. Personally, I think this type of environment will take its toll and more and more lawyers will exit the field.

I suppose worst case scenario is that you can always go for an MBA if you are unable to find a law job. Using an MBA and JD can be very useful and lucrative on its own. This will not only give you possibilities for both fields, but can serve as a fall back. I understand most people here don't care about an MBA or working for a business, but what are the alternatives if you can't get a law job or don't want to go solo?

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't think it matters what profession you are in. The job market throughout the entire economy doesn't look good. With that said, your career is what you make of it. The real unemployment rate is almost 20% (U6, counting part time employment, underemployed, and those who have given up looking or gone back to school). The latest employment report indicated that about 440k jobs were created the prior month. The government is responsible for hiring 411k part time Census workers (temp. jobs). The private sector only created 30k jobs or so. The point is, lawyers are not the only sector being affected by the downturn. If you were to do it all over again and pick a different field, the same result is likely anyway. I am sure most new college grads are in the same boat. There really is no safe profession to fall back on unless you want to get in healthcare (especially in 2014 when the healthcare bill takes effect).

It is hard to say how long this recession (or depression) will last. They said this recession was over last summer and we are in recovery. I am not sure who really believes that, but a "jobless recovery" sounds like BS to me. The Greece crisis could even hit home here if something is not done to stop the deficit spending. It is predicted that by 2015 (around that time) that our deficit will reach 90% of GDP. If that happens, then everyone (not just lawyers) will be in trouble. I think we are going through a process of natural selection in the job market. Not everyone will make it. Those that make it will do very well and those that don't will suffer. Personally, I think this type of environment will take its toll and more and more lawyers will exit the field.

I suppose worst case scenario is that you can always go for an MBA if you are unable to find a law job. Using an MBA and JD can be very useful and lucrative on its own. This will not only give you possibilities for both fields, but can serve as a fall back. I understand most people here don't care about an MBA or working for a business, but what are the alternatives if you can't get a law job or don't want to go solo?


well said. but not 'everyone' will be 100-150k in debt (as most law students coming out of law school are in)

just sayin.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:00 am

If you will allow a little optimism...

I am currently a paralegal at a government agency. I work with an attorney who has seen it all: ~20 year career (white shoe law firm, DOJ, and now a small government agency). He was also involved in hiring and recruitment at his firm. He has close personal relationships with people in all sectors of the legal industry.

He is fully aware that the legal industry is going through a crisis that has f'ed over most recent grads, and may result in permanent structural change. But he has also cautioned me to temper my pessimism with the knowledge that, in his words: "This is nothing new. Law firms have always overreacted on both ends to changes in the economy: when times are tough, they lay off more people than they probably need to, or is fair; when the good times start rolling again, firms will inevitably over-staff and over-compensate."

He (and I) realize that the legal industry is going through a period of singular challenge, and things will probably never return to the overinflated, pre-recession days. But that is probably a good thing. And those who can weather the storm, work hard, and focus on developing their legal skill-set will still be able to have a rewarding career.

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:30 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119040786780835602.html

Here's something to ponder for everyone here who insists that the poor economy is the only reason for the lack of legal employment: The writing has been on the wall for years!

The 2007 WSJ article linked to above very cogently argued that law school was already a risky proposition even before the recession hit:

For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.


Again, it's not just the economy...it's pure supply and demand:

    A slack in demand appears to be part of the problem. The legal sector, after more than tripling in inflation-adjusted growth between 1970 and 1987, has grown at an average annual inflation-adjusted rate of 1.2% since 1988, or less than half as fast as the broader economy, according to Commerce Department data.


There was less demand for lawyers even in the good old pre-recession days, but what did universities do? How about start pumping thousands more law grads into the legal sector?

In the 2005-06 academic year, 43,883 Juris Doctor degrees were awarded, up from 37,909 for 2001-02, according to the American Bar Association. Universities are starting up more law schools in part for prestige but also because they are money makers. Costs are low compared with other graduate schools and classrooms can be large. Since 1995, the number of ABA-accredited schools increased by 11%, to 196.
And the numbers keep on growing!

You can "love to argue" all you want, because you "love the law" and it's always been your "dream" to be a lawyer...but guess what, the law doesn't return your affection.

LincolnNebraska
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby LincolnNebraska » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:39 pm

Law school is a great way to ride out the recession. The debt is manageable. You earn prestige and can do anything with a law degree (just look at Lloyd Blankfein). I've been lurking a while, but I'm sick of these trolls.

I just earned my law degree, and even though I'm unemployed I think that if I network enough I can be the next DA for my city. I don't care about BigLaw. :roll:

Look, listen to these people's advice; or talk to young attorneys who you know personally. Talk to people sitting for the bar this summer. We know that it's tough out there for those with bachelor's degrees. That's no reason to "hide out." Eventually you have to face the real world. Facing it with $150,000 in debt and unemployed/underemployed is not the way to go.

Wall Street Journal has reported this. Above the Law has reported this. NPR has reported this. New York Times has reported it. Huffington Post has reported it.

If good students at the top schools can't get any job after sending out hundreds of resumes (as most of my friends did), then that does not bode well for the profession. Also note that almost all of my friends wanted to work in the government in DA, PD, JAG, or the agencies/departments. It's not about getting the big firm job. Those jobs were never what they were cracked up to be because generally you have to quit after six years. You then can have serious difficulty finding employment because you have a record of being overpaid according to MidLaw and Sh*tLaw firms; but you have no book of business to lateral to other big firms. People generally took those jobs to pay off their debt, and not as a long-term thing. Now even those options are gone. The MidLaw and Sh*tlaw markets are flooded with grads from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU...not to mention the mostly underemployed grads of Georgetown, Duke, and UVA. Forget about government or public interest work in this situation (not to mention hiring freezes, austerity, and a surplus of grads who are willing to work for free all for the "experience" and the avoidance of the dreaded "resume gap").

You can get as angry as you want at the attorneys and law grads on this site, but we have more experience in this affair.

Things are astonishingly brutal out there.

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romothesavior
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:31 pm

LincolnNebraska wrote:Law school is a great way to ride out the recession. The debt is manageable. You earn prestige and can do anything with a law degree (just look at Lloyd Blankfein). I've been lurking a while, but I'm sick of these trolls.

I just earned my law degree, and even though I'm unemployed I think that if I network enough I can be the next DA for my city. I don't care about BigLaw. :roll:

Look, listen to these people's advice; or talk to young attorneys who you know personally. Talk to people sitting for the bar this summer. We know that it's tough out there for those with bachelor's degrees. That's no reason to "hide out." Eventually you have to face the real world. Facing it with $150,000 in debt and unemployed/underemployed is not the way to go.

Wall Street Journal has reported this. Above the Law has reported this. NPR has reported this. New York Times has reported it. Huffington Post has reported it.

If good students at the top schools can't get any job after sending out hundreds of resumes (as most of my friends did), then that does not bode well for the profession. Also note that almost all of my friends wanted to work in the government in DA, PD, JAG, or the agencies/departments. It's not about getting the big firm job. Those jobs were never what they were cracked up to be because generally you have to quit after six years. You then can have serious difficulty finding employment because you have a record of being overpaid according to MidLaw and Sh*tLaw firms; but you have no book of business to lateral to other big firms. People generally took those jobs to pay off their debt, and not as a long-term thing. Now even those options are gone. The MidLaw and Sh*tlaw markets are flooded with grads from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU...not to mention the mostly underemployed grads of Georgetown, Duke, and UVA. Forget about government or public interest work in this situation (not to mention hiring freezes, austerity, and a surplus of grads who are willing to work for free all for the "experience" and the avoidance of the dreaded "resume gap").

You can get as angry as you want at the attorneys and law grads on this site, but we have more experience in this affair.

Things are astonishingly brutal out there.


I had to read your post twice to even understand what you were saying. I think I've got it now... but try to make it a little more obvious when you are setting up a straw man to knock down, because I thought you were making a contradictory argument at first.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:35 pm

This just isn't fair. I'm pulling the sheets up and moping... if only I hadn't ditched those pacifiers.

I knew that "the job market for law grads is really bad", but that's the sorta thing you think about the entire economy. Ya figure "I'll try super duper hard and if I do my best, things will work out"... but that is clearly false.

Methies' post on networking was extremely helpful, but the numbers don't add up. Sure, it'll give you options in addition to OCI, but I have a hard time believing that the class of '10, as a general rule, did not network, such that any hard-working networker with median rank at a T40-60 school was able to land a legal job.

What does a rational person do when their calling is currently a statistically losing proposition outside ~T14?
Do you bank on your belief that you'll do well, or throw in the towel and go for something like the health care industry that you really don't think you'll stand out in?

This is surreal.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:39 pm

romothesavior wrote:... but try to make it a little more obvious when you are setting up a straw man to knock down...


But then it's not as clever :(

The eye-rolling smiley is there to serve as the switchover. Don't even know how he made it though.

TTTGrad
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby TTTGrad » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:53 pm

Before I made my exit from biglaw, I recall having to fill in for a partner at a local law school's OCI. Any lawyer that has been on the interviewer's chair during OCI can tell you this is probably one of the worst assignments to keep you away from billing time. My first question was: why a career in law? About 60% of the kids would either say "I always dreamed of being a lawyer" or "I have a burning passion for law, justice and helping the helpless." I would retort by saying the life of an associate is like a never ending nightmare and at biglaw, obtaining justice is secondary to making money and as for helping the helpless? GC's and Fortune 500 companies are hardly helpless. If these kids had been more candid and stated why they wanted to work for the firm ($$$), I would have given them respect and their due. The commenter who stated the law does not reciprocate love and affection was spot on. Most of you will enter the 3 year law school journey with bright eyes and a bushy tail. You will purchase heavy and overpriced books in August and be subjected to an antiquated teaching method and read about old English common law, case law that is irrelevant to modern law and enjoy the mental sodomy of figuring out whether a suicidal jumper who leaps off the Empire State building can be murdered if someone shoots him on the way down from the 54th floor. If you are going to law school on a free ride and work in a dead end job, I suppose the risk can be defended. However, if you are paying even 25% of the cost of tuition, it is you who will be taken for a ride for the next three years and you will probably spend your natural life servicing the debt that comes with it. The job market is bleak and the Golden Era of law has been over for 20 years (unfortunately Hollywood and TV producers still romanticize about it by falsely portraying it in modern movies and TV shows). Most of you have swallowed what the deans have been preaching (i.e., the economy has to improve). You kids don't know it but you have been sold the equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:02 pm

TTTGrad wrote:Before I made my exit from biglaw, I recall having to fill in for a partner at a local law school's OCI. Any lawyer that has been on the interviewer's chair during OCI can tell you this is probably one of the worst assignments to keep you away from billing time. My first question was: why a career in law? About 60% of the kids would either say "I always dreamed of being a lawyer" or "I have a burning passion for law, justice and helping the helpless." I would retort by saying the life of an associate is like a never ending nightmare and at biglaw, obtaining justice is secondary to making money and as for helping the helpless? GC's and Fortune 500 companies are hardly helpless. If these kids had been more candid and stated why they wanted to work for the firm ($$$), I would have given them respect and their due. The commenter who stated the law does not reciprocate love and affection was spot on. Most of you will enter the 3 year law school journey with bright eyes and a bushy tail. You will purchase heavy and overpriced books in August and be subjected to an antiquated teaching method and read about old English common law, case law that is irrelevant to modern law and enjoy the mental sodomy of figuring out whether a suicidal jumper who leaps off the Empire State building can be murdered if someone shoots him on the way down from the 54th floor. If you are going to law school on a free ride and work in a dead end job, I suppose the risk can be defended. However, if you are paying even 25% of the cost of tuition, it is you who will be taken for a ride for the next three years and you will probably spend your natural life servicing the debt that comes with it. The job market is bleak and the Golden Era of law has been over for 20 years (unfortunately Hollywood and TV producers still romanticize about it by falsely portraying it in modern movies and TV shows). Most of you have swallowed what the deans have been preaching (i.e., the economy has to improve). You kids don't know it but you have been sold the equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.


the brooklyn bridge is gorgeous. It has waterfalls during the summer. when the light hits 'em, it's like a million diamonds. A million fucking diamonds!

first person to get the ref gets a slap on the back.

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romothesavior
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:03 pm

TTTGrad wrote:enjoy the mental sodomy of figuring out whether a suicidal jumper who leaps off the Empire State building can be murdered if someone shoots him on the way down from the 54th floor


Normally you are worthless, but this was a golden nugget that made me lol. Well done.

Now go back to your hole.

Minnesota3L
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Minnesota3L » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:This just isn't fair. I'm pulling the sheets up and moping... if only I hadn't ditched those pacifiers.

I knew that "the job market for law grads is really bad", but that's the sorta thing you think about the entire economy. Ya figure "I'll try super duper hard and if I do my best, things will work out"... but that is clearly false.

Methies' post on networking was extremely helpful, but the numbers don't add up. Sure, it'll give you options in addition to OCI, but I have a hard time believing that the class of '10, as a general rule, did not network, such that any hard-working networker with median rank at a T40-60 school was able to land a legal job.

What does a rational person do when their calling is currently a statistically losing proposition outside ~T14?
Do you bank on your belief that you'll do well, or throw in the towel and go for something like the health care industry that you really don't think you'll stand out in?

This is surreal.


I will have to second the notion that networking is generally overrated.
Last edited by Minnesota3L on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:19 pm

romothesavior wrote:Normally you are worthless, but this was a golden nugget that made me lol. Well done.

Now go back to your hole.


I thought you just decided to hate me for some reason, but apparently you have a tendency towards cruelty. If you think someone is out of line, respond to them rationally, post by post. Don't make broad generalizations of very negative claims that can't be addressed with reason. You remind me of middle school bullies.

FYI, "kidding on the square", even anonymously, has the potential to hurt feelings.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:27 pm

Minnesota3L wrote:As far as for what to do, well, that's up to you. If law is truly your "life's passion," find a cheap school and go on scholarship. You will only be out three years' worth of opportunity cost.


This was exactly my thought before getting schooled on these forums regarding conditional schollies at lower level schools. Often you need to hit top 1/3, and many believe they give out a substantial number of these to inflate their numbers, knowing that not all of their conditional scholarship will be attained. So a bunch of overqualified (high GPA/LSAT) kids think they'll be a big fish in a small pond, only to find that they aren't the only ones thinking the same thing. There are other alleged reasons full-ride schollys with top 1/3 conditionality seem to be poison, but, let's just say they're extremely risky at least. Paying sticker for your first year at a T55-100 puts you in an impossible position.

Guess I'll just go through the motions and see how the admissions cycle pans out for now... ::sniffle::

LincolnNebraska
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby LincolnNebraska » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:32 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:
romothesavior wrote:... but try to make it a little more obvious when you are setting up a straw man to knock down...


But then it's not as clever :(

The eye-rolling smiley is there to serve as the switchover. Don't even know how he made it though.


Made it through a pretty damn good school with pretty damn good grades and pretty damn good extracurriculars and pretty good work experience. :P

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:48 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Normally you are worthless, but this was a golden nugget that made me lol. Well done.

Now go back to your hole.


I thought you just decided to hate me for some reason, but apparently you have a tendency towards cruelty. If you think someone is out of line, respond to them rationally, post by post. Don't make broad generalizations of very negative claims that can't be addressed with reason. You remind me of middle school bullies.



it's folks like this that make TLS a lulz-worthy place. this is so funny, i don't even know where to begin explaining how and why.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Law Firm Hiring--Something to Ponder

Postby Scallywaggums » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:06 pm

::holding romo's hand against his(/her?) will::

::bow::




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